Sunday, June 26

MPs to call for sugar tax and tighter controls on junk food ads



MPs want a sugar tax on soft drinks and a restriction on TV junk food adverts to fight childhood obesity. The Commons Health Committee said there must be “broader and deeper controls on advertising and marketing to children”.

It said: “A way would be to restrict all advertising of high fat, salt and sugar foods and drinks to after the 9pm watershed.” And it also demands a clamp on deals for unhealthy foods and a ban on sweets at the end of aisles and by check-outs.

Fizzy drinks should state how many spoons of sugar they contain while use of cartoon characters and stars in children’s advertising “should be restricted.”

MPs also want new guidelines on what constitutes a healthy school packed lunch.

Tory MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the committee, urged action. She said: “A third of children leaving primary school are overweight or obese.”

The Government will set out its child obesity strategy next year. Right-wing groups said a sugar tax would be “nanny state” and should be resisted.